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27 October 2014

Birthday Weekend in the Lake District

Within a few weeks of knowing Ken, the Lake District has always cropped up in conversation when discussing where we'd like to travel to together in the future. After travelling to Aberdeen and Manchester together before we officially a couple, we've both always dreamed of taking a break from work and University life to stay in a secluded cottage next to the Lake District during the Winter time. To my surprise for my 19th birthday, Ken treated me to a weekend away in the Lake District. We stayed in a beautiful part of the lake district called Bowness-on-Windermere.

23 October 2014

Drug Store Haul | Boots & Superdrug

I've been picking up items here and there from both Boots and Superdrug over the past couple of months which I haven't featured on my blog before, so I thought I would show you some new purchases today.

As I've owned these items for quite a while, I'll give you my opinions on them too!

18 October 2014

Autumn High Street Haul | H&M, Miss Selfridge & New Look

Over the past couple of months, due to working overtime and celebrating my birthday, I've had a bit more money to spend that usual so I treated myself to some new clothes and accessories. This isn't all from one shopping trip - I only ever tend to buy one or two items when I'm normally out shopping. After realising I have a lot of new clothes and accessories I haven't blogged about, I thought I would share what I've accumulated over the past couple of months with you today.

12 October 2014

Girl's Day Out | OOTD

Last night, my friend Hannah and I decided to have a girl's day filled with Chiquitos, American Horror Story and drinks in town. We both realised our outfits were similar, so thought we would share with you what we wore yesterday.

Denim Jacket - Vintage Levis
Chokers - Ebay
Sheer Top - Urban Outfitters
Bralette - Urban Outfitters
Leggings - Miss Selfridge
Boots - Topshop

Denim Jacket - New Look
Crop Top - Miss Selfridge
Leggings - Miss Selfridge
Boots - New Look

7 October 2014

Battle of the Brands | Dry Shampoo

I hate washing my hair. My hair is very long and prone to tangling, so the thought of washing it followed by an hour of detangling and drying is literally my worst nightmare - until dry shampoo was created. I've been using dry shampoos for a couple of years now and they're my savior. Luckily with the beauty industry advancing, dry shampoos aren't restricted to only cleaning your hair, some claim to giving you more advantages too like volumising and giving your hair more grip. As more brands are releasing their own dry shampoos, I thought I would compare a few I have bought over the years and battle them out to see who came out on top.

From left to right: Dove Hair Therapy Refresh & Care, V05 Plump it Up, Batiste Floral and Flirty, Herbal Essences Part Re-fresh

FOURTH PLACE - Batiste Dry Shampoo
I used to swear by Batiste dry shampoo when I was younger. The bottles are very reasonably priced and come in various sizes, definitely a winner for packaging convenience. Since branching out and trialing other dry shampoos, it's unfortunately to say I prefer other dry shampoos. Batiste have a wide range of dry shampoo fragrances, but I've never found a scent I particularly like. Dry shampoos are supposed to be a quick and easy way of refreshing your hair in between washes and I find that the white reside left after application of the Batiste shampoo defeats the purpose. I spent a lot of time brushing the product through my hair and even blasting sections with a hair dryer to get rid of the white reside. I don't think I'll repurchase a large can of Batiste in the future any time soon however, I will continue to repurchase the small 50ml sizes as they are perfect to throw in your handbag on the go. 

I picked this product up last month after seeing it on offer in Superdrug. I'm actually a fan of Herbal Essences products, so I was looking forward to trying out their Limited Edition dry shampoo. I found the fruity and floral scent to be very overpowering, which I'm not a fan of as I like my hair smelling fresh and the fragrance is a little too strong for me. Unfortunately, I didn't find the product to be very volumising at all, but it successfully banished any oily patches in my hair. The product left absolutely no white residue at all, which I was very impressed by.  Although the product did not claim to offer any volume, I'm impressed with its ability to freshen up the hair between washes. An all round good product but, in my opinion, there are better dry shampoos out on the market.

I'm a huge fan of Dove's hair care products and this product is definitely one of my favourite dry shampoos. I think the packaging is very professional and almost makes it seem like a high-end beauty product at a very affordable price. The scent follows the typical floral scent dry shampoos tend to have, but I find the scent isn't too overpowering unlike other floral scented products I've tried in the past. The product freshens my hair with no white residue at all and manages to volumise my hair at the same time. I've actually referred to this product as my 'good hair day can' as I often use it on the day I've washed my hair to give it a bit more grip and volume. The only down side to this is that I find it can almost give too much texture to my hair, which makes it a bit knotty and difficult to brush out at the end of the day.

I only bought this product last week and I'm obsessed with it already. Vo5's Plump it up dry shampoo does exactly what it says on the tin - boosts body and grip while refreshing your style. It banishes all my oily patches between washes and volumises my hair. It leaves no white residue on my hair at all, but can be prone to slight residue if sprayed too close to my roots. I found this was easily resolved by rubbing the product into my hair afterwards. The winner, for me, is the scent of this product. The fragrance isn't floral or artificial at all, but simply provides a fresh scent, making it seem like you've literally just washed your hair. The volume this product gives lasts all day and I'm very pleased with my purchase. Winner all round!

As dry shampoos are fairly inexpensive nowadays, I don't think I'll settle down with one any time soon as I'm always on the hunt for new releases. However, I'll definitely be keeping a bottle of Dove's dry shampoo and Vo5's dry shampoo on my shelf for times of desperation.

Have you tried any of the dry shampoos I've mentioned in this post? What are your favourites?

3 October 2014

My 19th Birthday

On the 30th of September I turned 19 years of age. I didn't have any plans for my birthday, neither did I have any idea of what I wished to receive from my parents. There's a part of birthdays that make them less significant as you get older. Long gone are the days of receiving largely wrapped presents consisting of plastic doll houses or toy cars. Presents nowadays consist of small gadgets, each worth hundreds of pounds to stay in tune with the trends of our generation. 

The meaning of birthdays really got to me this year. Of course, it's an incredible feeling to give your friend or a family member a gift for their birthday, and to receive one. But I thought this year, as I didn't regard 19 as a significant age, I would make memories to remember my birthday instead of receiving gifts from family members. 

In the evening my sister, Mum and I headed to a place called Queensferry in Edinburgh for dinner. After a lovely meal, we drove to the coast line, stopped the car and observed the beautiful view of both the Forth Road and Rail bridges as well as the new Queensferry crossing bridge that's currently being built. 

After a couple of photographs by the bridges, we then headed home and watched 'The Aviator' movie together. I had a lovely evening with my family and I know it will be an occasion I will remember for many years to follow. 

I am very grateful for the gifts I received for my birthday. My Dad bought me a set of chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments to get rid of my acne scarring, which I am incredibly grateful for as I've struggled with my self-confidence as a result of having acne scars for so long now. 

My boyfriend also surprised me with a weekend away to the Lake District. As we both love to travel and discover new places, it was the perfect gift and I'm excited to re-live and share the memories of the Lake District from when I was younger with him. 

I think the significance of birthdays is to make the most of the life you have as every birthday marks another year of existence - life is very short after all. So if you have a birthday coming up, or are wondering how to treat a friend/family member/significant other, think about what they would appreciate as they celebrate another year of life. For me, memories make my birthdays memorable and that little bit more special than receiving expensive gifts. Gadgets and gifts don't always last forever, but memories last a lifetime.
Copyright @ Alix Staines.